Antony Blinken said Tuesday that President-elect Joe Biden intends to seek an extension of the New START Treaty, but suggested he has not made a decision on the length of that extension. A full extension is five years.
The landmark US-Russia arms treaty expires just 16 days after the inauguration.
The secretary of state-designate noted that Biden “couldn’t really engage” on the issue during the transition because he was “very cognizant of the fact we have one president at a time.”
Blinken told lawmakers that he believes “this is something that we will be coming to you on pretty much immediately as soon as the president is sworn-in, and I know that he does intend to seek an extension, and he’ll have to make a decision as President about what duration he would seek.”
The Trump administration went back and forth with the Russians on the terms of the longstanding treaty after efforts to create a new trilateral treaty with Russia and China failed.